15th Annual Fisher Poets Gathering
Work is our joy – Matt Korpela
I’m here, I’m here! I arrived in Astoria, Oregon last night after a long slog cross-country from Miami. I met FisherPoet (FP) Steve Schoonmaker and Ron McDaniel, our resident Cowboy (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cowboy-on-the-Side/140325332754121?v=info&sk=info) at the airport and we all piled in a rental car and headed out of Portland. Ron kindly removed his cowboy at for the ride so I could see out the passenger side window as I drove us to Astoria. It was great getting to hang out with both of these highliner FPs! I also finally got to meet Tele Aadsen, who writes a blog titled Hooked http://nerkasalmon.wordpress.com/tag/tele-aadsen/. We’ve been following each other’s blogs for months now and it was great to finally put a face with the name. She’s making her maiden voyage this year at FPs. Go get ‘em Tele!
The event kicked off last night with a welcome dinner and open mic at Clemente’s, a local restaurant here in downtown Astoria, OR. The dinner menu included Willapa Oysters, Poke, Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon and Chips, Oyster Casino, and what I had, Local Fresh Halibut and Chips.
The drink menu included “Fisher Swills” that went by the names of Red Summer, Chum, Mug Up, and Muddler Minnow. Little menus were printed up that included a well said quote from Bill Carter’s Red Summer:
“To fish is to be part carpenter, plumber, welder, weatherman, cop, mechanic, businessman, mother, father, sister, brother. Part priest, drill sergeant, cop and outlaw. The have to believe in good and evil, and little prayers
to the fish god don’t hurt.”
Well folks, the engines are all warmed up and we are about to put it into gear! The official event kicks off tonight, Friday at 6 PM. There is lots going on this year with about 10 different venues, a silent auction, workshops, onsite poem contest, films, open mic, story circle, and a photo exhibit titled When Crab Was King, Faces 1950 to 1982 by Toby Sullivan of Kodiak. More details can be found at the Fisher Poet Website at http://www.clatsopcc.edu/community/fisherpoets-gathering. They are on Facebook this year at https://www.facebook.com/FisherPoets?sk=wall and on Twitter at FisherPoets. More about each FisherPoet can be found at Pat Dixon’s In the Tote: http://web.me.com/dixonphoto/Fisher_Poets_-_In_the_Tote/Welcome.html.
Oh, and I'll be live on the radio today, Friday at 3:20 Pacific Time on Arts! Live and Local on KMUN. I think you can stream it live at coastradio.org.
Saturday night at Clemente’s is a special event to raise awareness of the proposed Pebble Mine at the heart of the world’s largest salmon run up in Bristol Bay. The event features FisherPoets with Bristol Bay connections and a reading by author Bill Carter. Proceeds from a silent auction as well as a percentage of food and drink sales(way to go Clemente’s!) goes towards Trout Unlimited’s Save Bristol Bay Campaign: http://www.savebristolbay.org/. I hope to see you there! I leave you with a poem I wrote for the fundraiser event tomorrow night. It’s an offshoot from Walt Whitman’s I will take an egg out of the robin’s nest.
By Jen Pickett
I will take a sockeye salmon out of Bristol Bay.
I will take the roe from its belly
and go and preach to the world;
you shall see
I will not meet a single
heretic or scorner,
you shall see how I stump congressmen,
and confound them
you shall see me showing a scarlet egg,
and a gold pebble from the beach.
I will ask you to weigh their value.